Software support for password strength

Software support for password strength

Xkcd is the QED of our industry. Want proof? Check out Randall Munroe’s comic on Password Strength.

Longer phrases trump mixed up passwords every time. “Correcthorsebatterystaple” will take significantly longer to crack than, say, “p@ssw0rd”. Given this, you might wonder why the industry has not changed to longer phrases. I blame the vendors. There are a number of apps that I support and websites that I visit that still limit passwords to 14 characters. Moreover, many explicitly for prevent special characters. Software support is a problem.

There are other problems, too. See today’s Dark Reading article for the pros and cons of using phrases.

Dark Reading: Passphrases A Viable Alternative To Passwords?

There is a wish among some enterprise users that they could institute phrases, but they’re experiencing a technology lag within the software and identity management worlds that stymies the urge.

“One reason (organizations don’t use passphrases) is the number of software applications that do not support long or complex passphrases,” says J. Wolfgang Goerlich, Network Operations and Security Manager for a midwest financial services firm. “Length and special characters seem to be a challenge for some vendors. Sometimes referred to as technological debt, many IT departments must maintain a suite of apps that have not been updated with modern security recommendations.”

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